The Elevator Pitch is one of the most crucial skills for a salesperson to master.
Have you ever bumped into a business partner or client, only to have them ask you about your product? You’ll have about 60 seconds (or less!) to introduce your product and create interest. In some cases, this might be your only chance at getting their attention. Failing to catch their attention in that minute could cost you a customer! Don’t fret, because we have compiled 7 useful tips on crafting the perfect elevator pitch for salespeople.
- Know how much time you have, then decide on content.
Elevator pitches are called elevator pitches because they are delivered at times when you don’t have much time to speak. You will usually have around 15 to 60 seconds. Here is a break down of what your content should be depending on how much time you have:
15 seconds: explain who you are, and what your product is about.
30 seconds: explain who you are, what your product is about, and why it is relevant to the customer.
60 seconds: explain who you are, what your product is about, why it is relevant, and how specifically it can help the customer.
It is important to remember that the main purpose of an elevator pitch is to create interest, not to explain everything about the product. You want to save some information for when your customers say: “That’s interesting, tell me more!”
- Write in the tone that you speak.
Writing in the way you speak helps you sound more natural and authentic. Write out your pitch, word for word, as you say it out loud. You don’t want to seem like you’re reading off a screen when you’re pitching to customers. It is also helpful to imagine yourself pitching while you are in the midst of writing to make it sound more natural. If possible, make room for conversation in your pitches. The conversations will help you initiate a positive relationship with your customers. These little conversations will also make the pitch more memorable and more appealing for your prospects.
- Be concise, focus on important points.
Time is very valuable to most people, especially people in business. People will generally appreciate you more if you get to the point and be clear about what you are saying. Being concise builds a more positive brand image for your product and increases your ability to achieve the intended results for the call to action in your pitch. This helps you sound more professional and confident, while getting your idea across efficiently with impact. In order to be concise, don’t use repetitive words, as they may confuse your audience. Consider cutting words that don’t add meaning or content to your pitch. Keep in mind that while you want to construct a succinct pitch, you still want to keep a friendly tone to avoid being viewed as too direct or hostile.
A good pitch resonates with the audience’s interests. It’s easier to explain why your product is relevant if you know who you are talking to. You need to create an emotional connection with your words in order to form a relationship with your prospect. You should know a little about your listener’s background.
For instance, if you are pitching to a single father about an investment, it would be tactical to emphasize the long term benefit of the investment from the family perspective. Doing your homework on every client is important, because not only will it provide you with persuasive points, but it also gives you insight on sensitive topics to avoid that may spoil the deal.
- Have more than one elevator pitch prepared.
As the content of your pitch shifts based on who you are pitching to, you should prepare more than one elevator pitch. Your elevator pitches should be similar, they’re conveying the same message, but catered to the listener. If you generally have three types of customers, having three types of pitches at your disposal is ideal. You don't want to have too many, as you might confuse yourself when you deliver the speech later.
- Practice, practice, practice.
We all know pitches aren't perfect the first time. After writing your pitch, practice as often as you can. Do this while standing up, as it will be easier to notice your body language and hand movements that way. Pay attention to your facial expression (make sure to smile) and body gestures (don’t cross your arms) while you are pitching. Practice by yourself, then practice on your friends and colleagues. Ask them to provide feedback on your pitch for any possible improvements. As you familiarize yourself with your pitches, check to correct speech intonations that make your speech sound rehearsed.
- The Delivery and Follow up:
Finally the time has come to deliver your perfect pitch. Be confident in yourself and own it! Remember to keep your flow natural and initiate conversations during your pitch. Occasionally during the pitch, check your audience’s reaction to make sure they are still following the pitch.
What comes after an elevator pitch? After you finally deliver that perfect pitch and successfully capture their interest, ask them for their contact information to follow up. Be ready to answer detailed questions regarding your product. Some people are successful in generating interest, but then miss the chance to collect contact info.
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